Rogers customers will be the first in Canada to experience LTE-Advanced

IrvWhite_Today, we rolled out the next evolution of wireless technology, LTE-Advanced, to customers in 12 cities. But what is LTE-Advanced anyway and what does it mean for you? Irv Witte, senior director, network product management at Rogers, is here to get us up to speed.

 Q: What does this mean for Rogers customers?

A: Wireless customers will be able to download and live stream even faster on mobile phones and tablets. When we bought 700 MHz spectrum, we said we were going to put it to work to deliver the ultimate video experiences to our customers and this is one more way we’re doing that. In the first two weeks of the season, hockey fans streamed 650 terabytes (that’s 650 million megabytes) of data on Rogers NHL™ GameCentre LIVE™  and, on average, 80,000 hockey fans are using their mobiles or tablets to live stream or watch special camera angles on the app each game night since the start of the season.  Our network will be built to handle the growing demand for data as more people watch videos and stream sports on their mobile phones and tablets.

Q: What exactly is LTE-Advanced technology?

A: LTE-Advanced is the latest and greatest network technology available today. All wireless communication uses radio waves to carry the signals, whether it’s a voice call or data. LTE-Advanced allows us to combine two bands of radio waves, or spectrum – 700 MHz and AWS – to create an even larger pipe for data to travel on. You can think of it like combining the roads in a city to make a superhighway, allowing more traffic to travel at faster speeds.

Every radio wave or spectrum band we use has different characteristics. 700 MHz spectrum carries wireless signals across greater distances and is better able to penetrate deep into buildings while AWS spectrum forms the backbone of our LTE network and was rolled out across the country when we launched our LTE network.

 Q: Where will LTE-Advanced be available?

A: LTE-Advanced is available in twelve  cities starting today , including Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Windsor, London, Hamilton, Toronto, Kingston, Moncton, Fredericton, Halifax and Saint John with more cities to follow.   We’re the only carrier with two side-by-side blocks of 700 MHz spectrum in Canada’s major geographic markets. That means that we can create large pipelines for data to travel on, giving our customers a better experience. Whether you live in a small town or a big city, you’ll soon be able to enjoy the benefits of LTE-Advanced technology when it comes to your area. The plan is to roll out LTE-Advanced technology across the country.

 Q: Can all devices take advantage of LTE-Advanced?

A: Right now devices that can take advantage of this new network technology are just starting to become available, with select devices expected to be available later this year. Of course, it’s always our goal to bring customers the latest and greatest devices so check back to see what’s available.

For more information on our LTE network, visit rogers.com/LTE.

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Leave your notepad at home – The Note 4 has you covered

Putting pen to paper might sound as old school as using a quill pen since the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, equipped with the new S Pen, hits Rogers stores today.

This “phablet” is a game-changer. It is your new:

Organizer
Whether you have lots of important thoughts, like taking notes or are an obsessive list-maker, the S Pen feels more natural than ever before. The proof is in the pressure points – 2048 pressure points to be exact, makes this one of a kind writing experience the highlight of this device.

 Movie watching companion
The Quad HD Super AMOLED® screen is crisp and clear and can make watching even the most boring movie seem like you’re in a private screening of Avatar – a little bit dramatic, but you get the point.

Selfie-taker
If selfies are the name of your game, the 3.7 MP front-facing camera and Smart OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) on the 16 MP rear-facing camera help you snap pictures and videos from every angle.

AM to PM companion
The Fast Charging feature allows you to recharge up to 50 per cent of your battery in just 30 minutes, so you can carry your Note 4 from your morning meeting to your night class without worry.

If this video doesn’t get you excited about the Note 4, I don’t know what will:

The Note 4 is now available online and in Rogers retail stores – check out Rogers.com/note4 for more details.

Are you writing with an S Pen or is writing still something you see only happening on paper?

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How to stay safe amongst the clouds

cloudIt’s Cyber Security Awareness month, so we thought we’d share some tips on how to stay safe when using the ‘cloud’. In its simplest form, the cloud is used to house information, documents, etc. on the internet. iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive are examples of storage sites that let you save and share your materials through the cloud.

While it is great technology that can help us stay de-cluttered and organized,  it’s important to take precautions. Check out these tips below to keep your information safe when in the clouds:

  1. Use strong, unique passwords on your accounts. Change your password if you see it on this list of the 500 most common passwords.
  2. Avoid letting your browser save your passwords.
  3. Ensure website URLs contain HTTPS when accessing personal information over public Wi-Fi networks.
  4. Install apps from official app stores.
  5. Read permission requests before installing apps to ensure the information they’re accessing is appropriate.
  6. Always log out of sites completely when you’re finished.
  7. Install the latest app and operating system updates for your device.
  8. Enable password locks on your device. Check out how to enable passwords for your iPhone, Android and BlackBerry.
  9. Don’t upload information to the cloud if you want to keep it private.

To learn more about how to stay safe when staying connected check out  http://techessentials.rogers.com/. Tell us, what steps are you taking to stay cloud safe.

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Weekend Reading: Full-season hockey, Nokia Lumia 830 and Facebook safety

Weekend readingIt’s Friday – time for your Weekend Reading. Check out below to see if you’re eligible for a full-season of hockey access, learn about a new smartphone and how Facebook is protecting you!

Hockey access across all platforms

We started the week off right – sharing exciting news with our customers. Select customers (further outlined in our post) will now get a full free-season’s pass toRogers NHL™ GameCentre LIVE™ and/or  NHL™ Centre Ice. For example if you have a Share Everything plan, you can now get a free subscription to  Rogers NHL GameCentre LIVE™, with GamePlus™ of course, until the end of the season, including playoffs.

Check out Rogers.com/NHL for more details. A reminder that Rogers wireless data and internet customers will continue to get a free subscription to Rogers NHL GameCentre LIVE™ until December 31, 2014.

How will you use Rogers NHL GameCentre LIVE™ to complement your TV watching experience?

Get the latest Windows phone now

The Nokia Lumia 830 launched in Rogers stores and on Rogers.com today. While I’m still exploring the ins and outs of the device, so far I’ve seen some great features including a 10-megapixel camera with Optical Image Stabilization and a choice of over 350,000 apps. We’re carrying the device in black with a green back cover but if that doesn’t strike your fancy, you’ll also receive an exclusive free black cover in the box.

What have you heard about this smartphone?

Facebook keeping you safe

Facebook shared today that they’re taking steps to keep your passwords safe. As described by Business Insider – Facebook has developed a process that actively monitors news of huge security breaches and if it finds a hacked password, it will disable the password and notify the account holder. Fear not; this is a completely automated process that doesn’t require Facebook to know or store your actual Facebook password. Facebook users should already ensure their passwords are both unique and complex – however, here is added support to keep your data, pictures, conversations, etc. safe!

Tell us, what steps do you take to stay Facebook safe?

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Full-season hockey access for Rogers customers

RGCL100What an exciting week – the NHL hockey season has begun! Fans are sporting jerseys around town, hockey pools have ramped up and Canadians are turning to their mobiles and tablets to watch our nation’s game.

Even with the puck drop behind us, we’ve got more plays on the way to keep our customers cheering.

Here are two awesome pieces of news  - so hot for fans, they may melt the ice:

1) Rogers NHL GameCentre LIVE
Rogers customers with the following services can now get a free subscription to  Rogers NHL GameCentre LIVE™, with GamePlus™ of course, until the end of the season, including playoffs:

  • Wireless:
    •  Share Everything Plan
  • OR
  • Internet (Ontario):
    • Hybrid Fibre 60 or above
    • Grandfathered Extreme Internet or above
  • Internet (Atlantic):
    • Hybrid Fibre 50 or above
    • Grandfathered Extreme Internet or above

Past December 31, 2014 these customers can continue to use smartphones, tablets, desktops, and other devices like Roku and XBOX 360,  to watch tons of regular season games, plus big-ticket events like the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs, 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®, and the 2015 NHL® All-Star Game. Don’t forget to also check out the GamePlus experience, with innovative camera angles (like the Ref Cam), on-demand replays and behind-the-scenes content, exclusive to Rogers customers.

2) NHL® Centre Ice
As shared in a previous post hockey fans had a freeview of NHL® Centre Ice ending today – but the action doesn’t stop. Starting today, Rogers customers with the accounts listed below will continue to get NHL® Centre Ice:

  • TV:
    • Digital VIP or higher
  • AND
  • Internet (Ontario):
    • Hybrid Fibre 60 or above
  • Internet (Atlantic):
    • Hybrid Fibre 50 or above
    • Grandfathered Extreme customers and above

Learn more about our Internet and Share Everything plans that will keep you game ready. Customers who are not eligible for the above, can still purchase Rogers NHL GameCentre LIVE™ and NHL® Centre Ice to continue to watch the remainder of 2014/2015 season. Check out Rogers.com/NHL for more details. A reminder that Rogers wireless data and internet customers will continue to get a free subscription to Rogers NHL GameCentre LIVE™ until December 31, 2014.

Tell us, what are your traditions in how you watch the game? What device are you using?

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Weekend Reading: Rewards, ref helmet cams, and more

Here is a Saturday edition of the Weekend Reading. Check out the below to learn about new rewards, GamePlus and record breaking views.

Weekend readingReward Yourself With A Shopping Channel Gift Card

It’s to get yourself a brand new, stink-free, jersey . Rogers customers can now redeem Rogers First Rewards points for Shopping Channel gift cards. These gift cards can be used towards all products, however, given the season I suggest checking out the NHL merchandise, including jerseys, accessories, family products and more.

How will you be using your points?

Seeing the world from the Ref’s POV

This week we announced a whole new way for you to watch the hockey game – GamePlus™. As explored further in our post, GamePlus is a part of Rogers NHL GameCentre LIVE™ and is  available exclusively to Rogers customers.  It lets you choose how you watch the hockey game with your choice of innovative camera feeds, multi-angle replays and behind-the-scenes action right from your smartphones, tablets and computers.

What camera are you most excited for?

We love our nation’s game on all platforms

As we shared in our post– this week marked the first Scotia Wednesday Night Hockey of the 2014/15 season. Canadians tuned in on multiple platforms in record numbers. The night was the most watched broadcast  in Sportsnet™ history, drawing in an average of 2.01 million viewers for the game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens.  Using Rogers™ NHL GameCentre LIVE™ , roughly 55,000 fellow fans streamed over 1.9 million minutes of hockey plus 80,000 minutes of on-demand video and multiple angles replays with MyReplay.

What device did you use to watch the game?

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Are you catching the hockey action? Don’t miss out!

On Wednesday night, players hit the ice for the first NHL games of the season – and what a night it was! I sat back on my couch and watched the Leafs on TV, while also pulling up awesome new GamePlus™ angles from my tablet. I was certainly not alone; Canadians watch the game in record numbers on all platforms!

Scotiabank Wednesday Night Hockey was the most watched broadcast in Sportsnet™ history, drawing in an average of 2.01 million viewers for the game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens.  Fans also took to their devices to watch the game. Roughly 55,000 fellow fans streamed over 1.9 million minutes of hockey last night with Rogers™ NHL GameCentre LIVE™. Canadians streamed more than 80,000 minutes of on-demand video and multiple angles replays with MyReplay. GamePlus also had fans cheering, with the debut of the Ref cam stirring up lots of online excitement!

If you missed out on the action not to worry – there is still time. Click here to access our Getting Started Guide to learn how to stream games based on the  device you’re using, including a desktop computer. I’ve also shared here the basic steps to get access to the app:

  • Head to https://gamecentrelive.rogers.com
  • Click Register (top right hand corner)
  • Register for a MyRogers™ account OR if you already have one, you can skip this step
    • To note – even if you’re not a current Rogers customer, you still need to sign up for an account
  • Download the ‘NHL app’ from the Apple App Store or Google Play store
  • See the Getting Started Guide for further steps based on your device

We always love receiving your pictures and feedback. See our Storify below that showcases last night’s fan excitement for Rogers NHL GameCentre LIVE™ and GamePlus!

Share with us what camera angle had you cheering!

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PUCK DROP IS OFFICIALLY HERE!

goaliecamThe time has come – our countdown struck 0 – today begins the ultimate 2014-15 hockey season.

Tonight the cheering starts with the Leafs vs. Habs, followed by two more action-packed games on Sportsnet™ and Sportsnet ONE (see full schedule here). It’s also our debut of Rogers NHL GameCentre LIVE™. If you haven’t already, now is the best time to get your hands on it to live stream over 1,000 games right from your smartphones, tablets and computers. We’ve provided steps on how you can get access here. Be sure you check out Rogers.com to ensure you are aware of blackouts, and to make sure you have the data to keep you connected.

This week we also announced GamePlus™ – an innovative experience within Rogers NHL GameCentre LIVE™ that is exclusive to Rogers wireless, cable, Internet and home phone customers. With GamePlus features fans can choose how they watch the game with access to unique camera angles, exclusive behind-the-scenes content and multi-angle replays during select regular season NHL games. During the Montreal vs Toronto game tonight you can pull up the Sky Cam to catch the action from above, the Ref Cam to see what the ref sees, and the Star Cam to follow Leaf’s forward James Van Riemsdyk. Calgary and Vancouver fans can also watch from the Ref Cam, while following Sean Monahan with the Star Cam.

If you’re in Toronto be sure to check out all of the Face-Off action happening at Yonge and Dundas square. Watch the Leafs and Habs as you celebrate our nation’s game, catch the Tragically Hip live at 6:30PM ET, and enjoy free activities and swag.

With less than 3 hours to #puckdrop we’ll make this post short! Be sure to share your experience with #RGCL, #GamePlus, and the awesome new camera angles and follow along the game action with @Sportsnet and #faceoff.

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GamePlus: The best way to watch the game online is coming to Rogers customers

goaliecam_jpgNow is your chance to watch hockey through the ref’s eyes, follow the puck up close as it travels along the boards and experience the game from behind the bench like a player. Today we unveiled GamePlus™, a part of Rogers™ NHL GameCentre LIVE™ that is available exclusively to Rogers customers, and brings unique camera angles, more interviews and on-demand replays to your tablets and smartphones this season.

This is truly a game changer for hockey fans! With GamePlus you can now can choose which camera feeds to watch during select NHL regular season games each week, and even during the Stanley Cup® Playoffs, the NHL® All Star Game, and the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®.

GamePlus lets you have the ultimate second screen viewing experience. Imagine watching the game live on your TV, and pulling up a replay or another angle on your tablet to catch the fast-moving action from the ref’s helmet or from above the goalie.

Depending on arena and game fans can look forwarding to watching the following cameras:

  • Catch the fast-paced action up and down the ice with the Sky Cam that will sit at the 200 level in the ACC;
  • We’ll have a Ref Cam installed on the referee’s helmet to skate along with the action;
  • Watch the hustle from inside the blue lines and for the first time inside the players’ bench with the POV Cam;
  • Follow a single player throughout the game with the Star Cam that spotlights on a key team member;
  • And you can experience the offensive action with Goal Line Cams that let you watch the game with a top-down view of the ice from over the net.

GamePlus will make sure you never miss a moment of the game; you can review the big plays from a choice of different angles with MyReplay.

But – it’s more than just the new angles; GamePlus will also bring fans VOD Insider Extras – previews, player and coach interviews, NHL news of the day, analysis and original video-on-demand content, produced throughout the season.

Rogers wireless, cable, internet and home phone customers who subscribe to Rogers GameCentre LIVE™ will have exclusive access to GamePlus. Rogers NHL GameCentre LIVE™ is now available for download here, so get ready for puck drop. Rogers wireless data and Hi-Speed internet customers will get a free subscription until December 31st.

Here’s to an exciting season ahead! Tell us, what camera angle are you most excited for?

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Prepare for the ultimate hockey season

CaptureLess than a week until puck drop – and our offices are hustling! I’ve already seen many fans sporting their jerseys and even flags being flown from car windows. To help you gear up for the season we’ve provided tips below to get your head in the game!

Get your swag on

In my experience hockey fans are passionate! They love their favourite team(s) and want the world to know. If you want to wear your team’s colour loud and proud at puck drop, check out The Shopping Channel’s Fan Shop for branded/player/signed jerseys, hats and touques, throw blankets, watched and clocks, stem-less wine glasses, popcorn makers, and more.

Share your excitement

Pop a throat lozenge if you must, clear your throat and get ready to cheer! If we’re visiting your town during Rogers™ Hometown Hockey™ Tour, your cheer may be your ticket to the NHL. Share a video of your cheer and encourage your friends and family to vote. The top five teams will be invited to take part in the festivities when we visit your town and the final team in each town will be in the running to win an ultimate hockey experience. Learn more here.

Sign up for MyRogers

As we shared in a previous post, you must have a MyRogers account to access Rogers™ NHL GameCentre LIVE™, whether you’re a Rogers customer or not. Sign in to, or sign up for, MyRogers by clicking here.  Rogers NHL GameCentre LIVE™ gives you access to over 1,000 hockey games this season right from your mobile device and Rogers customers with internet or wireless data plans get a free subscription until December 31, 2014.*

*Standard data overage/roaming charges, blackouts and other restrictions apply. See rogers.com/NHL for full details.

Prep your social feeds 

Be sure you are ready to follow fellow fans, teams and more throughout the season – we suggest creating a Twitter list to easily access the latest hockey news. See below for the top Twitter handles and lists we suggest you follow:

Tell us, do you have any traditions to get ready for puck drop?

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